Samsung Electronics of Kyounggi-Do, Korea, has received US Patent No. 6,905,829, "Method for detecting hybridized nucleic acid with improved sensitivity." The patent describes a method for improving detection sensitivity of hybridized nucleic acid immobilized on a solid support of a sensing device for a gene assay by removing non-hybridized nucleic acid probe using nuclease from the solid support. According to the description of the method, a background signal caused by a single-stranded probe that is not hybridized with the target nucleic acid or a signal caused by non-specific binding of target nucleic acid to probe is decreased or removed, which improves detection sensitivity of hybridization with high accuracy, and minimizes the loss of hybridized nucleic acid when compared with how background signals are removed in the conventional method.
Intelligent Medical Devices of Cambridge, Mass., has received US Patent No. 6,905,816, "Clinically intelligent diagnostic devices and methods." The patent describes a 'clinically intelligent' way of design of diagnostic devices, such as microarrays, and the methods of making and using such devices in differential analyses and diagnoses of specific clinical symptoms or sets of symptoms. In general, the patent describes a method of determining a cause of one or more medical symptoms exhibited by a subject by (a) obtaining a biological sample from the subject; (b) obtaining an array of different probes or different sets of probes, wherein each probe or set of probes selectively interacts with a target associated with a different known cause of the one or more medical symptoms; (c) applying the biological sample to the probes in the array under conditions that enable all of the probes to selectively interact with any targets in the biological sample; (d) detecting interactions; and (e) analyzing interactions to determine a cause of the one or more medical symptoms. In this method, the array of probes or sets of probes can be arranged on a planar substrate. The target can be a nucleic acid, peptide, polypeptide, protein, antibody, antigen, small organic molecule, inorganic molecule, enzyme, or polysaccharide. All of the probes in the array can be polypeptides, such as antibodies, antigens, enzymes, zinc-finger binding proteins, minor-groove binders, and transcriptional factors.
Abbott Laboratories of Downers Grove, Ill., has received US Patent No. 6,905,823, "Cellular arrays and methods of detecting and using genetic disorder markers." The patent describes a method for molecular profiling of tissue or other cellular specimens by placing a donor specimen in an assigned location in a recipient microarray, providing copies of the array, and performing a different biological analysis of each copy. As stated in the patent, the results of the different biological analyses are compared to determine if there are correlations between the results of the different biological analyses at each assigned location. In some embodiments, the specimens may be tissue specimens from different tumors, which are subjected to multiple parallel molecular (including genetic and immunological) analyses. The results of the parallel analyses are then used to detect common molecular characteristics of the genetic disorder type, which can subsequently be used in the diagnosis or treatment of the disease. The biological characteristics of the tissue can be correlated with clinical or other information, to detect characteristics associated with the tissue, such as susceptibility or resistance to particular types of drug treatment. Other examples of suitable tissues that can be placed in the matrix include tissue from transgenic or model organisms, or cellular suspensions, such as cytological preparations or specimens of liquid malignancies or cell lines.